Rep. West Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Preserve Affinity Medical Center
Legislation would set conditions for closure of Massillon hospital
January 11, 2018
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State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) and Majority Leader Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) today introduced House Bill (HB) 462, which would create a set of conditions that Quorum Health Corporation must meet before they are allowed to permanently close Affinity Medical Center in Massillon, Ohio.

“Affinity Medical Center has served the people of Massillon for over a century,” said Rep. West. “Closing Affinity would remove a community cornerstone, devastate Stark County’s medical system and eliminate over 1,000 jobs. We cannot allow this to happen, and House Bill 462 can help prevent a closure.”

HB 462 mandates that before any for-profit hospital in Stark County can close, its owner must prove financial hardship, at least three attempts to sell the hospital and that it has created a plan to transfer the hospital’s patients and employees to another facility within fifteen miles. It also requires a nine month transition period between public announcement of intent to close and final closure.

“Creating a set of conditions that must be met for closure will force a real conversation about whether everything possible has been done to save Affinity,” said West. “The passion our community feels about this is clear in the outcry that the closure announcement caused. Since then, we have seen a whirlwind of rallies, meetings and action from leaders throughout Stark County to save the hospital, and I believe that this movement will only grow stronger.”

HB 462 is likely to be referred to the House Health Committee, on which West serves.

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